Summary Judgment Granted Based On Unknown Cause Of Fall

Stacy D. Fulco
Stacy Fulco represented a fast-food chain in DuPage County and obtained summary judgment for her client. The plaintiff fell in the restaurant dining room and was severely injured.  She offered several potential causes of her fall including tripping on a chair, slipping on food or a liquid substance or possibly the floor was recently mopped.  The only witness to the fall saw it out of the corner of her eye and she believed the plaintiff tripped on a chair.  The medical records shortly after the fall noted the plaintiff said she tripped on a chair.  The plaintiff’s attorney argued there was a material question of fact as to the cause of the fall because several theories existed.  Counsel also argued an employee possibly spilled coffee on the floor and the employees failed to inspect the area within a proper period of time.  The judge confirmed that Illinois law requires the plaintiff to know the cause of her fall and her alternative theories do not create a question of fact.  Since the cause was not known, there was no known defect and there could not have been notice.  Summary judgment was granted and no appeal was filed.